Happy birthday e-mail!
It’s a technology that has changed the way the world communicates. From the very first “QWERTYUIOP” message 50 years ago to the backbone of today’s digital services, e-mail has come a long way. Jan Oetjen, CEO of e-mail providers WEB.DE and GMX, congratulates e-mail on its 50th anniversary.
“With its invention 50 years ago, e-mail became one of the central pillars of the internet and the era of digitization it ushered in. Despite fierce competition and billions of dollars in investment, it continues to hold its own and still ranks among the top three apps on every smartphone – fighting for first place with mobile messengers such as WhatsApp, but well ahead of social network apps.
Despite the current trend toward closed technologies, e-mail is still the internet’s largest and most successful standard. It lets users choose their e-mail service provider as they please, without any restrictions on which users they can contact.
Over the years, e-mail has developed into much more than just a communication tool. Although it remains the most important channel for communication between companies and users, e-mail has assumed a kind of backbone function for a slew of digital services. For example, the username for many applications is usually the e-mail address, and this has made e-mail the log-in standard. Key processes such as automated delivery notifications, updates, or password processes all use the e-mail standard as a kind of common denominator for all services and, above all, as an interface to the user.
As one of the last great open standards and the backbone of digital services, e-mail deserves our warmest congratulations on its 50th birthday!”